Davina Clements travelled to one of the remotest countries on earth and ended up giving birth on a Banbridge Hospital bed!
Tara Clements was born in the foothills of Nepal but, in an amazing twist, the bed her mother gave birth on had travelled all the way from the old Banbridge Hospital, which had just closed at the time.
And, in another turn in the tale, Davina, originally from Omagh, returned to Northern Ireland and ended up living in the Banbridge area, between Scarva and Loughbrickland.
Tara is now 20 years of age but memories of her family’s unique Banbridge Hospital connection were rekindled when Banbridge Historical Society recently paid tribute to hospital staff on its Facebook page.
“When the hospital closed, some of the beds were donated to Tansen Mission Hospital,” said Davina.
“We lived in Nepal at that time and my daughter was born on one of those beds.
“It was a lovely connection with home.”
Davina and her husband Richard had been serving with the United Mission to Nepal from 1993 to 1996.
“My husband is a pharmacist and I was there working in with the women in the community, helping to develop income generating projects.”
It was through Dr Max Watson, a palliative care expert working in the Tansen hospital, that the hospital beds came to be donated from Banbridge.
“He was in touch with folks at home who negotiated that the beds could go,” she said.
Davina’s little son Mike was two years old when the family went out to Nepal and Tara then came along.
“I wasn’t worried as I was so well looked after with a good midwife and a GP from Northern Ireland - Dr Ali Rogers, so I knew I was in good, safe hands.
“We chose the name Tara as it’s an Irish name but also a Nepali name meaning star. Our Nepali friends were delighted about this. She is now 20 and studying at university and she’s very proud of her background. My third child Niall is 13 now.”
Knowing the devestation of the earthquake in Nepal earlier this year, Davina is still concerned for the people there.
“The local people are very welcoming and friendly. I still keep in touch with the folks in Nepal - my heart is still out there and some day I’d like to go back.”